EPL

I am not a chemist - Pochettino team selections are not 'experiments'

By Sports Desk August 23, 2019

Mauricio Pochettino insists his Tottenham team selections cannot be considered "experiments" as he prepares to take on Newcastle United.

Spurs stole a 2-2 draw at Premier League champions Manchester City last weekend and face rivals Arsenal a week on Sunday, with struggling Newcastle visitors to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in between.

It was put to Pochettino that he might look to name a different XI against Newcastle in order to keep players fresh for the derby match, but he took issue with the word "experiment".

"Experiment? I'm not a scientist. I am not a chemist," he told a news conference. "You are talking about experimenting.

"That is in some room outside of this training room. We are coaches and we do our job, we don't experiment. We train people who have the ability to play football. Then that's it.

"Please don't compare us with doctors or people in university studying a lot. I have a lot of respect for the people who do what you say, experiment, to help life.

"But for us to find solutions, only I am a football coach, far away from the people who work in science or at university. I have full respect for them."

Discussing more openly the need to beat Newcastle, Pochettino still would not acknowledge there is pressure on Tottenham to win against a side in the bottom three.

"I think if we're going to talk about the extra pressure, it's a little bit early," he said. "We didn't feel the pressure of the Champions League final so, after our second game, we're not going to.

"Speculation is there, perception is there, I think we are going to try to play the game and try to win. Football is football and you have to respect your opponent. Newcastle are going to be a tough opponent.

"It's going to be a very difficult opponent. They need to start to win points, they'll be tough. They have a new manager, new signings. All that is going to make them more focused and try to be compact.

"For us, after a good result at City, our trust and confidence is high and at the same point believing Newcastle will be tough. We have to beat them."

Related items

  • Klopp: Liverpool success helps and hinders with transfers Klopp: Liverpool success helps and hinders with transfers

    Jurgen Klopp admitted success helped Champions League titleholders Liverpool attract players, but it also made completing signings harder.

    While they hold a 19-point lead atop the Premier League, Liverpool have been linked with moves for numerous players, including RB Leipzig star Timo Werner.

    Klopp is unfazed by suggestions his team are the world's best, but said it could help with signings.

    "It's easier if players see you as that. If they see you are successful, it's easier to get into talks with players," he told UK newspapers.

    "But on the other side, it's more difficult the better your team is because they ask questions like, 'where and when would I play?'

    "We need players who want to be part of this, who want to fight for their spot, who want to make the next step together with us, who want to develop and improve so that's it.

    "We have these players and whoever wants to join us needs to have exactly this kind of attitude."

    Liverpool are still unbeaten in the Premier League ahead of hosting West Ham at Anfield on Monday.

    Klopp said finding the right players to add to his side, who were Champions League winners last season, was difficult.

    "The age group of the team is good in the moment. In two or three years, maybe it'll be different but for the moment, it's good," he said.

    "It depends on what you want. Is it a good age for selling? Probably not. But is it a good age for performing? Yes.

    "So there are a lot of things we have to think about. It's an interesting period."

  • Joao Felix will fulfil potential if he listens to Simeone & Atletico team-mates – Koke Joao Felix will fulfil potential if he listens to Simeone & Atletico team-mates – Koke

    Atletico Madrid captain Koke said Joao Felix can fulfil his enormous potential if he listens to Diego Simeone and his team-mates after making a goalscoring return from injury.

    Joao Felix had been sidelined since January due to a muscle injury but Atletico's record signing came off the bench and scored in Sunday's 3-1 LaLiga victory over Villarreal.

    The 20-year-old attacker arrived from Benfica in a €126million deal at the start of the season and has scored five goals across all competitions.

    "Everyone can see what is expected of Joao, he's a young boy and he has lots of room for improvement," Koke said post-match.

    "Many great players have had to adapt to Atletico and it's not easy, he's young.

    "If he listens to the boss and his team-mates, he will be the player that everyone wants to see.

    "He's not been lucky with injuries, but I'm sure that, in the future, we'll see the Joao we want to see."

    Atletico came from behind in the Spanish capital, where Simeone's side trailed to Paco Alcacer's 16th-minute opener at Wanda Metropolitano.

    Angel Correa, Koke and Joao Felix led the comeback as Atletico moved up to third in LaLiga, behind leaders Barcelona and city rivals Real Madrid.

    "Speaking about Koke, our captain, our talisman and one of our longest-serving players [with] Saul [Niguez], [Jose] Gimenez, Thomas [Partey]," Simeone said.

    "He knows what we're looking for, a tactical condition that lots of players don't have and a pass that seems slow but he knows where he is.

    "He can play on the right, in the middle. He and Saul are the ones who can play in any position."

    Simeone paired Correa with Alvaro Morata up front and the Atletico head coach added: "The two worked very well, they have lots of strength in their feet to go out and press people. Morata did a very good job and Correa is in fantastic form. We're very happy with the competition for places.

    "The return of [Kieran] Trippier, Joao Felix... [Yannick] Carrasco is getting better, [Sime Vrsaljko] is very strong, Vitolo had a great game and the substitutes brought fresh legs."

  • Former Juve & Man City forward Bojinov sent off before debut Former Juve & Man City forward Bojinov sent off before debut

    Former Juventus and Manchester City forward Valeri Bojinov was sent off before he could make his debut for Serie B outfit Pescara.

    Bojinov joined Pescara as a free agent earlier this month, having been without a club since leaving Bulgarian side Botev Vratsa.

    The 34-year-old's start to life at Pescara, however, has not gone according to plan after he was sent off as a substitute on Sunday.

    Bojinov – sitting on the bench – was shown a red card for dissent in the 26th minute during Pescara's 4-1 loss at Crotone.

    The 43-time Bulgaria international moved to Juve on loan in 2006-07 after their relegation to Serie B following the infamous match-fixing scandal.

    Bojinov scored seven goals across all competitions as Juve earned promotion before he was signed by Premier League outfit City in August 2007.

    But Bojinov failed to impress and his career has not kicked on, with stints at Parma, Sporting CP, Lecce, Verona, Vicenza, Levski Sofia, Ternana, Partizan, Meizhou Hakka, Lausanne and Rijeka among the clubs making up his CV so far.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.